Becoming a Citizen of the World

2017-08-17 18:55:42 - Feature

Ossama Abu-Halawa ‘17

Alumni Profile: Ossama Abu-Halawa '17

The college experience is about so much more than midterms and textbooks — it's an opportunity to grow. Nobody knows that better than Coe alumnus Ossama Abu-Halawa. He describes himself as a "citizen of the world" and credits Coe with helping him come to appreciate the diversity he experienced on campus — and beyond.

A biochemistry major who minored in religion, Abu-Halawa was also involved in student senate and swim team, and worked as a Writing Center consultant. Being actively involved on campus required him to interact with students from a variety of backgrounds.

"These were integrative experiences that provided spaces to interact with a diverse student body, be it diversity in race, religions, family backgrounds or political ideology," said Abu-Halawa. "The ability to be situated within these easily-accessible nodes of difference allowed me to evolve as a citizen of the world, and I can only hope my presence did so for my fellow students as well."

In addition to his work as a student leader, Abu-Halawa's academic work included conducting research at Stanford University and studying abroad at Oxford University during his last semester as a Coe student.

"The opportunities I had while at Coe were a result of the tremendous support provided by my professors," he said.

In fact, from exposure to a variety of diverse perspectives, to accessing exciting opportunities as a student, to gaining the confidence to continue his studies, he said he owes all his success to Coe.

"[Coe is] an extremely supportive and resourceful college," he said. "[It was] a life-changing opportunity."